Editor’s Note: This post originally ran in the past, but we’ve updated all the events for Summer 2016. Have fun!
Slide on the flip flops, pack a bag and head outside! Here are 50 ideas to get you in the summer swing.
1. Wiggle and giggle at a Dancing at Dusk concert for kids at Caramoor Center for the Arts in Katonah. Families are invited in to picnic and dance under the stars. Best of all, you can explore the grounds before or after the show.
2. Go mini-golfing. It’s not just for seaside vacations; there are some cute courses right here in Westchester!
3. Read The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani. As a writer, I’m obsessed with books, and I squarely put this book in my top 10 favorite books of all time. It’s that good.
4. Grow something. Anything. Basil. Tomatoes. Lavender. It’s thrilling.
5. Buy a Tovolo Rocket Pop ice pop mold, pour in juice, freeze and rock your kid’s world.
6. Climb up the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse for a self-guided tour and then hang out at Kingsland Point Park, a playground with stunning river views.
7. Dare to wear a bikini at the pool this summer. Yes, you!
8. Take the training wheels off your kid’s bike and teach them how to ride it. Or get this guy to do it.
9. Take your dog for a swim at the Larchmont doggie beach adjacent to Manor Park, located at the end of Beach Avenue. What kid doesn’t love to watch their pup dive head first into the Sound?
10. Hit the beach at Croton Point Park.
11. Dress your kids in their princess and knight outfits and take a drive up to Tuxedo to attend ye olde Renaissance Faire. It runs every weekend from August 6 through October 2.
12. Cool off at a local pool or sprinkler park.
13. Take in a free outdoor concert, play or movie at the Hudson River Museum’s amphitheater in Yonkers. Coming up: New Orleans jazz (July 29) and Pixar’s Inside Out (Aug 13).
14. Wouldn’t be summer in Westchester without waiting in line for a lemon pizza at DoughNation Pizza Truck. Yes, lemon pizza. It’s ah-mazing.
15. Bring the playroom outside. Set up your kid’s easel in the grass. Do puzzles on the porch. Bring his trucks or trains onto the patio, or let the girls play barbies among the bushes. Here are some other ideas for backyard fun. The simplest things make summers special.
16. Stroll through a Japanese garden, complete with a Zen sand garden that you can rake, at the Hammond Museum in North Salem.
17. Dress up your little ones as fairies and take at walk in the forest as part of Muscoot Farm’s Victorian Faerie Walk on August 28.
18. Grab a mason jar, let your little one stay up late and help them catch fireflies. Savor the magic in their faces.
19. Go early to your local farmer’s market to ensure the pick of the tomatoes in coming weeks. Slice, sprinkle with sea salt, yum.
20. Travel back through time at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside for a 19th century take on games, stories and scavenger hunts. It’s called From a Child’s Perspective and requires timed tickets on Thursdays in August.
21. Pitch a tent in your backyard and take the kids “camping.”
22. Or how about a little glamping? The Sagamore Hotel in Lake George is lovely, very family-friendly (kids club for 4 to 10 year olds), and (AND!!) their infinity pool overlooking the lake was recently named one of the top ten hotel pools in the country by CNN.
23. Watch Jaws. You kinda have to watch it at least once every summer. Better yet, do it in your own backyard.
24. Listen to live jazz in the shadow of Lyndhurst Castle during one of their Thursday evening Sunset Jazz series.
25. Bring a blanket to MacEachron Park in Hastings. Let the kids play on the playground, while you take in majestic views of the river.
26. Eat on the front porch (yes, front porch) at Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish, one of our favorite north county restaurants.
27. Go to the trampoline park on a rainy day.
28. Bring the whole family to watch The Wizard of Oz at The Sanctuary at Westmoreland Sanctuary in Mount Kisco on July 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 and 31. The interactive production will take audiences on an adventure along the Yellow Brick Road of the park. A mustn’t-miss event of the summer!
29. Meet the farm animals, taste fresh honey from the beehive, or learn how to pickle or can at Westchester’s beloved Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights.
30. Plan a last minute day trip. We’ve got itineraries for Cold Spring and Brooklyn, plus Bear Mountain, Field Station and Westport.
31. Make your own superhero cape and let your kid test it out in the backyard.
32. Sip a rhubarb margarita at Truck in Bedford. Sounds interesting, right? And the rhubarb is from their garden.
33. Hot? Get on the Metro North’s Hudson River line and take the kids for an air-conditioned ride along the river. You’ll relax (well, somewhat) and they’ll drink in the views.
34. Let the kids loose at the vast and beautiful Storm King Art Center in New Windsor. Don’t forget to bring the sketchbooks!
35. Give the kids an afternoon nap, put them in their PJs and drive over to The Stamford Museum & Nature Center on Friday evenings at 8:30, where you can use their 22-inch observatory telescope to view the summer night sky.
36. Take a trip out to the North Fork of Long Island. It’s nothing like the Hamptons, and we like it that way.
37. Bop to the beat at the Pleasantville Music Festival on July 9.
38. Have lunch at the new Mason Sandwich Co. in Eastchester. Lobster rolls, muffalettas, porchetta sandwiches — it’s all super tasty. Plus there’s gourmet mac and cheese for the kids.
39. Dine alfresco at one of these outdoor restaurants. Stare at the Manhattan skyline and reminisce about the good old days. Then remember, these are the good old days.
40. Forget Yankee Stadium. Root for the Hudson Valley Renegades in Wappinger’s Falls (an hour north of White Plains). Tickets are cheap, and for kids, it’s as exciting as the majors.
41. Take our Westchester ice cream tour.
42. Listen to music under the stars at least once this summer. Here’s our outdoor summer concert guide, updated for this year.
43. Paint your toes the hottest pink you can find.
44. Taste the best burger in Westchester.
45. Walk through the Greenburgh Nature Center’s Butterfly Exhibit in the Native Plant Meadow. Open daily from June 25 through August 7.
46. Explore a new playground. Here are some in Bronxville, Scarsdale and Dobbs Ferry, plus some for you Northern Westchester readers!
47. Make some watermelon cucumber kiddie coolers, fancy lemonade or fruit-infused water, and sip your drinks alfresco.
48. Ask a neighbor you barely know over for a BBQ. You may just make a new friend.
49. Plan a day at Splash Down Beach, an outdoor water park in Fishkill. There’s a Bob the Builder splash zone for wee ones.
50. Watch the sun set over the Hudson River. I like the view from RiverWalk in Tarrytown, but any spot will do.